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[applause] >> thank you very much for being here, and thank you, mayor, for being here. the mayor has a very busy schedule so we went to have a conversation before he has to leave. itself you can talk about why you decided to be part of the
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project, first, i have known kevin for a long time, and he is one of mrs.'s humble heroes, and he has done extraordinary things. covenant house, has a location in new jersey with a heart and a spirit and soul that does so much for our city, and i've met the kids and young people who come through it, and i was very moved. so knowing you and knowing about covenant hoss -- covenant house it was a no-brainer itch felt privileged to right the forward for it, because it gave me the chance to recognize the fact that my dad would have been homeless himself. he was born to a single mother, very poor. my father is even more dramatic. he was not poor. be waso po, couldn't afford the other two letters. bit was an extraordinary
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community that is very intact and watchful of the children, and my father was taken in by another family, whose extraordinary love kept my father of a trajectory forward, and hen was going to go to college, people in the community put dollars together to help him afford his first quarter of tuition. so all these things which i call the conspiracy of law that happened that made me who i am today, but starts with the young people and what bothers me is about our society, is we talk so dramatically and in such a negative fashion about the adults who fill our prisons, and we don't realize that every one of those adults was a child who we could have done more for, to prevent a lot of the challenges they face as an adult, and i think douglass said at it easier to raise strong children than to heal broken men.
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so i just feel a real urgency in america that we do not prioritize our children as much as we should. >> tina, he favorite part of the book is your forward. which is lovely because we work for two and a half years on the book, but at it so move bag it's so from the heart, and this week you're doing michigan else from the heart. you're engaged in the snap challenge. maybe you can talk about the snap challenge and why you're doing this. >> well, my staff teases me. i was up late with my girlfriend, twitter, and -- [laughter] >> when is the mayor going to get a life. but i was going back and forth, and for those of you who use social media, people just roll out things that are dumb, frankly, and -- but just as i was getting into an intellectual question about the role of government and the person said that government should not
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provide for the nutrition of children, and it really struck a chord to me because i really don't think people think about what that really would mean, and we don't realize that we live in a society that if we make, small amounts of investments early we won't have to make the big investments late and we all in fact are deeply invested in the success of kids because the more successful our children are, the moore our economy grows, artists, teachers, professors, entrepreneurs, you name it. the children are our greatest natural resource in america, but yet we leave it undercultivated. so this woman says that and i say, why don't we see what it's like to live on food stamps or the snap program, and so i went to bed thinking, no big deal, and i woke up and it was a big story, and so i called my staff
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and i said, guess what i'm doing? and so -- but it was a powerful thing because we're one of 14 cities in america to have a food policy director, and i think all cities into have it. we have already done a lot of work on trying too expand affordable healthy options, and the more i talked with my food policy director, said this is a great thing, not only raise levels of compassion and understanding and disspell pad stereotypes about snap, and families on snap, and focus them instead on the realities of that, but also the policy changes we could be making at a local level to empower -- to address food and security to address food and nutrition deserts and end expand more healthy options. and today i had a very poignant moment where we have to think of the society as a whole. i had a moment where i had
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security guards in my office, and we were talking with them because these are guys, some of the making seven dollars and change an hour, and many of them working overtime to make more money, but still qualify for programs like snap. so here we are allowing many of our employees, especially is a was saying, behind the curtain, the curtain there is to block the text and love section. that's the one that is curtained off here. it's like in 7-eleven the line across certain magazines. so, you guys should put your books on the sex aisle. sell much better. >> should have called the book, 50 shades of homelessness. >> would have sold better. >> so the security -- sorry. you guys have such dirty minds. get back to the subject here at hand. get out of the gutter. but these guys, there's a poignant testimony, we live in a
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society where, here are front line first responders, talk about intervening in pet where crime. we had building targeted by people with terrorist intent, and they're on the front lines of this, and yet we can only pay them seven dollars and change an hour, and they have no benefits no retirement security. one guy was saying he worked for ten years and no healthcare. if he gets sick he has to work through the sickness, and that's not the america that i think of. and so i'm really hoping this week, to finish the overly long answer -- is to really bring more attention to these problems, and right now, this session, congress is going to be debating cults in the snap -- cuts in the snap program, and in this time of austerity we can't be dumb and cut things that are long-term benefits. entitlements are investments in our society and we should prioritize these things, federally and actions locally.
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>> mayor, you were speaking in your forward about the small actions that people took to help your father. talk about the small actions that people take that can help homeless young people. can you talk about how that works in the city? >> first of all, i have had lots of conversations with people who quote-unquote have made it. who when they're in tough times, like tyler perry who was homeless, living in a car. to people i know throughout my community who have gotten broken drug addiction, who have dealt with brutal, brutal hatred because they came out of the closet at a young age. all these stories, and it's amazing to me that everybody, including tyler perry, have these stories about how one person's small act of kindness was a differencemaker for them. and it gives me chills to think about that we all have that power. the biggest thing we actually do in any day probably could be a
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small act of kindness to someone else. so the vulnerability and the fragility of life, you get to see up close and personal in cities like ours here in new york and newark, new jersey, and it doesn't take that much effort to be there for a kid. and i see -- i was very happy during sandy, we were able to do some things to raise through covenant house and the cooperation of some extraordinary people, to raise a lot of money because it actually doesn't take that much money to give a person a doorway of hope, and the last thing i'll say on this, for me, i get very upset, because when i first became mayor, i had a metaphor that i clung to. i tell people, such an optimistic hopeful person, told people i'm a prisoner of hope. when we walked through city hall seven years ago, there were so many challenges and i would try to gird my team up and say we're prisoners of hope. we can do nothing but hope. now seven years later my
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metaphor is completely changed. i see powerfulfully transformative things happening, from the large parks expansion in the century, down housing market to the creativity of my team to double the production of affordable house; first anytime 60 years the population actually going up. hotels built by new -- newarker, and i'm now hope unhinged because now i believe there's no probably -- poverty, child homelessness -- no problem we can't solve. it's not a matter of can we, it a matter do we have the collective will. and this is an example that drives me a lot with kids. we have tens of thousands of childrens housed in this metropolitan area alone on waiting lists for big brothers and big sisters. the data on mentoring is
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amazing. it drives down juvenile crime, drives down early sexual behavior. drives up academic achievement. it's incredible what four hours a month, the amount of time we spend watching our favorite tv shows -- i know in new york you guys watch real housewives of new jersey, and jersey-licious, jersey show. one tv show, giving up for a month, four hours we spend watching the tv show, if we spend that time mentoring, what do you think we could do? there's a waiting list. thank god my dad didn't have a waiting list. we have the power -- the most common way people give up power is not recognizing they have it in the first place. we off have power to make transformative changes in kids' lives and we choose not to or don't engage or make yourselves aware of organizations that do
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that every day. >> the book includes stories about people who stepped up. a cook in new orleans, post-katrina new orleans, who decides she is going to be mother to a whole group of homeless kids who don't have moms and a business executive in newark mentors a young business person. adults stepping up to do big and good things and also adults who hurt kids, some selfish interest over young people. some people step up and make the difference in the lives of kids, and a lot of kids, the world wants to ignore these kids, and other people find a different path. why is that? >> i don't know. i don't. i actually feels so good. its feels so good. to do the right thing. and as much as inner city people talk about the negative, and it's there, it's under these
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tough conditions you see the most beautiful exhibitions of humanity on a daily basis. i see people, during sandy, i was blown away by the extraordinary kindness people were extends to their neighbors. one of my favorite ones i thought was funny, i was in a tough neighborhood unloading water, and this woman in -- disabled woman in an electric wheelchair rolls up and said i need two cases of water. i said, i can't gave you two cases of water. she goes, my neighborhood needs water. i said, let me understand something. you're going to be delivering water in your neighborhood? she said yes. she should have been the one we are delivering water to and she is out delivering water to 20 somethings who couldn't get off their tucus and engage. so that's the degree of human experience. so i don't know what it is but i do know it's -- i do know when
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something does something lick -- like that, it inspires other people. why did one picture of a cop giving shoes on the street become a viral photo? why? because we all hunger for that. and we're inspired for it. why do you ski an uptick in giving during christmastime the holidays? it's an infectious spirit that shouldn't be one month of the year. we have to know that all of us are every single day we instruct others around us. all of us carry this toxin that is kindness, and we shouldn't keep it for ourselves, and one last example that happened to me. somebody banished my citizen. it was snowy day in new york. i had come in here, i was a 20 something just starting in newark, slogging around on this slushy day, and i remember coming to this pool of slush that was deep, probably shin deep, and i was looking and i see an older african-american
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woman pushing one of those carts that was -- the metal mesh type carts, and i said i'm going to help this woman through this slush ocean, and then this guy jumps out of a white conservatively dressed guy, who i probably would have had at that time a never assumed he would go and just walk into the slush, in the shoes that were probably my monthly allowance, slushing, picks the woman's cart up, brings it to the side, smiles to the woman and she smiled at him, and i was witness to that and it chapping my whole day. made me kinder, more open, more accepting, more loving. you just never know what one small act can do to make that kind of change, and that's what this world needs so desperately. we're stuck, and you see this. there's no shortage of kids. i want to put covenant house out
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of business, frankly, because there's no shortage of kids right now that are in need, and that shouldn't be the case. >> we talk about the need for political will to help young people. they don't vote. they are not part of a powerful political lobby, and how can we get that message out across on a political sphere? >> well, you know, you get elected officials you deserve, and i know this. i'm a politician. they respond to pressure, and they respond to incentives, and unless -- we always push the attention to washington or to trenton, albany, or city hall, but we can organize. we have the power to exercise pressure, demands, influence on our elected officials. so we have to get much more active if we're going to have a society that is going to respond to this enduring problem. the rate of child poverty in the united states of america, we should be ashamed a nation this strong has child poverty, and
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the kids in poverty don't have the access to success, good education, nutritionally fit to learn, material ready to learn, and that's the lie or that's the incompleteness that we have to address. that when kids stand up in certain neighborhoods and kids stand up in more affluent neighborhoods and say those words, liberty and justice for all, when they pledge allegiance to the flag, the phrase, accomplish justice for all,shoo be a demand, compelling as separation, and should be a conscious conviction to make that reel real. but we're lacking a sense of urgency, and i don't think great movements in americas are led by elected officials. they responding to the leadership on the ground and that's what we should be doing. how can we have an entire presidential debate and it seems
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the word poverty was almost something we shouldn't talk about and we shouldn't address, and so i'm really hoping we can begin to change the dialogue, because i'm -- i'm a guy that actually liked to do a balance sheet analysis of our country, and this is why we have interesting partnerships. the manhattan institute, a think tank, is working with us in newark. it comes down to a simple bale sheet analysis. for every dollar spent on snap, it creates a multiplier effect in our economy because the money is being spent. creates 1.70 of job creation, of gdp growth. the same thing with programs for kids. you can show direct investments in programs for young people produces actually a real economic result in the end, so we just do a balance sheet analysis of things. it will change. i was campaigning for president obama in seattle and was with an
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amazing supportive housing organization there that showed, they had 23 homeless people, they looked at their medical expenses for the year before they came into the supportive housing and the year after. 23 people they saved their local hospital a million dollars in medical expenses because we all know, it's far more expensive for -- to leave somebody, especially if they have a mental health issue, for more expensive to leave them on the street than to come in and empower this -- the study talked about medical expenses but didn't do this. i went to visit the residents. i met one man who now is volunteering, now was teaching people about cooking, and making contributions. so, we have a backward way of thinking about this. this is why i think over criminal justice system in america is the most -- if you're a republican, that should be your biggest cause to go after because it's big wasteful government. it doesn't need to be that way. if we were empowering people to succeed on the front end.
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>> mayor, we're going to make you late, so i'm going to offer one thought before you take off and give you the last word. >> intimidating. >> yes. >> when we first met, i remember saying to you i liked your tie, and you took that tie off and gave it to me, and i think that you offered that to the country. you offer us our light, and lots of folks in the country ask us about you, the light you draw to hope, optimism, and knowing the future for this country is bright if we're in it together, in anchorage asked me if you're really as sexy as you seem. i said -- >> i'm what you call a 40-footer. i look much better from far away. >> i want to thank you for what you shared with us, the light you bring the people in newark and the light you bring to the nation. so many of us look to you for
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hope and optimism, and i think our country's future is bright in part because you're going to be a big part of that. >> i appreciate you saying that but i will correct you. i said this to my staff today. i get a lot of psychic energy from being the mayor of the city, yet i'm there and managers, people who get the job done every single day whose names you never hear about. and the same thing in the work we do, i'm very proud to have been given support to this incredible work your degree-but you know the heroes of light and energy that are working within covenant house, that are making transformative changes, that there's a young kid one day that's going to be born to one of the children there that you'll never know their name, will feel that love. so that's my challenge to everybody, and this is -- science shows if you look in the stars tonight and we live in manhattan so probably won't be able to see a star, but just imagine, when you look up and see a star, think to yourself
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that hundreds of billioned of light years away and many of those stars you're looking at are gone. they no longer exist. and the billions of years it's taken for the light to get to you. the star itself is gone. but the energy and light that a body gives off while it is alive goes on forever. generations unborn feel the warmth and light of that body. that's who we are. we may have a finite time on the earth but sever single day we should be determined to burn as bright, warm, and brilliant as possible, and that's the challenge, and ultimately the changemakers are never the elected officials, the names you read in history. this country has been fueled because of a conspiracy love, and even though we don't know the names of the people, they're the one that today we benefit, and the last thing i'll say, my father, who i talk about in the book, had lot of colorful things he would say about me as a kid. my father lived in poverty. i grew up in relative privilege compared to him. and he used to say jokingly,
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boy, don't walk illinois e around here like you hit a triple. you were born on third base. i was born po. couldn't get a ticket the stadium. he would say a beautiful thing, which we all driven deeply from wells of freedom and accomplish opportunity that we did not dig, and knowing that, that gives us all an obligation to give back in every way possible, and to me, it's a secret to living a life of joy, a life of solace, and a life of love. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> i want to thank the mayor for being with us. we want to take a couple minutes for questions you might have. [inaudible]
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[inaudible] -- the government should be doing something to keep -- in check, not necessarily turn it into a european system, but who are these magical doctors who are going to descend upon america and provide healthcare to everyone when it's 70 grand a year for one year's tuition and you may have undergrad loans and you're going to be taken out conceivably 300 loans for medical school. >> can you repeat the question. the question is how are we going
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to make young people make it through their educational goals in light of runaway tuition. is that right? >> yes, and also provide -- how are we going get the doctors. constitution is 70 grand a year. >> we write in the book how hard it is for homeless kids in the cities in which these young people live, just to get through high school. so the challenge that so many kids confront -- and liz wrote a beautiful memoir last year about homelessness to harvard how are we going to create educational opportunities for kids whose family cannot take care of them, who are told over and over again, york broken because you're poor of their circumstanced of your birth or their parents hate them or reject them because they're gay or lesbian. these kids of still loved and so damaged that college feels like another planet to them, and we write in the book about the game-changing things that cities
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and nonprofits are doing to create high schools that are connected to homeless youth centers, a great program here in the city that is part of or connected to the door, dropin center for disconnected youth in it's 41st year. an amazing program. and it's called broom academy, and that school was started with this notion that their young people who are feeling really marginalized and disenfranchised, can you get those kids to come to school if they're homeless or struggling. w in covenant house the n detroit, there are three high schools for kids who are homeless or been suspended or expelled from the detroit public school system. these are schools for kids who in many ways, are the best and the brightest but rejected from the mainstream public school system and need to find a way back in there aren't a lot of those programs in the united states. just a handful that are part of
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the homeless youth program, and we think more of that would create real opportunity for kids, because -- you probably know this if you look at the labor statistics. kids with a high school diploma are much more likely to find magic though the unemployment rate is very high for that group -- but much more likely to find work than people who don't have a high school diploma. so getting kids across the bridge from poverty to opportunity, involves creating high schools that work with homeless young people and last thought on this and open to your wisdom on this, young people who are homeless in this city are offering a master class in invisibility, riding the subway all night long, hanging out in doughnut shops, and we have to acknowledge there aren't millions of homeless young people who are going out of their way not to be seen and picked off, and understand if way want help those kids achieve the great promise of their future, we have to recognize they exist and have to be love
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in the world and opportunity in the world for them because they don't have anybody else. >> okay, that's it. questions? >> my question is, we talked about the government. what about private industry and their support of programs like this? and i know that when i used to work for citigroup -- i'm retired now -- we had a program where we would have mentoring between our executives and kids that -- in high school or junior high school that would help. are you aware -- is that in the book? >> i'll start with teen newscast. she did an enormous amount of reporting on this, and for our book. the question is, what will this private industry play in helping young people who are homeless get ahead? and great example is in st. louis, the pinera franchise works with the covenant house in st. louis to create an
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apresencetiveship to give homeless young people an opportunity to come into a training center that is intentionally developed to give them the skills in management in retail, in the operations, and launches these young people into management positions. i'm not talking about minimum wage, behind the counter. i'm talking about a ladder of economic opportunity, and the smartest ceos in the country are hiring homeless young people. they might not have the resumes of young people who are coming from the best and brightest high schools in the country but they're so hung fry. they're so out to achieve, and so giving kids the first break, the first job, right here in the city, hires many young people and gives them an opportunity to work and save up for their first apartment and then go to school at night. there are lots of companies that do this. there's not enough. there's a real role for corporations to help young people move ahead and i think the smartest ceoss get that.
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>> i want to mention the mentoring efforts. for young miami who have been through horrible circumstances, it just takes one person who believes in them 100% and hold them to a higher standard that take them from not believing in themselves to flourishing and becoming successful young adults. ...
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sleeping there tonight, and there are green chimneys, all these mating part -- amazing programs are taking care of young people who don't have any other safe place to be. and that trafficking and the exploitation and the violence that some many of these kids have experienced really eats away at the soul of people who are working every day weekend people, and it was true for me 20 years ago when i started at covenant house, more hair, a lot thinner. i forgot to buy was. i came with the scaffolding of love around me. my mother told me from the day that i could hear that i could sing. i cannot sing. my mother had me convinced that i could. my father had me convinced that was going to be a really great math and science student. i am not. but they filled with a sense of
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promise and encouraged me to believe in myself. some the of the kid to come in don't have that. and you begin to think that the darkness is so large and hovers so presently that the light is untouchable, but the great virtue of covenant house being 40 years old and me having been a part of it for 20 years as i know doctors and teachers and great parents who were once upon a time homeless kids. someone inside or outside covenant house loved them and brought them across the bridge from poverty and opportunity, so we have to just take care of ourselves and remind ourselves that the light, and then not being supplement -- sentimental. the light is so much stronger than the darkness. we just teach have to get in this together. big things and small things that we can do to help change the life of a kid. there people in the city wants a weaker down to that shelter and they make a birthday cake for kids have never ever had happy birthday song to them before. people who write happy birthday
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kishi, marcus and put that sign on the wall and kids to then take that down because they have never seen happy birthday with their name on a wall before. that's a small thing. of make a birthday cake and get an initial trancing a birthday. it changes that kid's life forever. water that lady come into the shelter and sing and brought it to me? envy and not broken. maybe it's something about me is good. if all of us did that, the love that -- it would be -- the light that we would channel world would be hotter than the sun commanding that is part of this movement of love that we talk about in the book. came changing for kids means all of us getting in this together. >> yes. [inaudible question] >> are you talking about the government also making investments like mayor booker was talking about. i have a follow-up. >> the question is to are we talking just about volunteerism are we also talking about the government playing a role? in our book we write about things that we know the government has to do in order to make a difference in the lives of young people, and we talk about the things that
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individuals have done and can do to make a difference in concise. for my purposes if there was one fight that i would like to win and win soon collide like to stop investing billions of dollars in public child welfare system and have 48,000 kids graduate from foster care every year without a family. so many of those kids in the thomas. they throw their stuff in a black hefty bag and then they in the desperate and without any sort of triborough can or family to help support them. if we could fix that and our foster care system, which is so within the circle of the public sector, if we could fix that it would dramatically impact what homelessness look like in this country. >> i think it's important to focus on the way that we do know ways to fix that system. we have ways of getting kids are older in foster care adopted out. we have ways of getting into our first coming into the foster system, into permanent families. we talk in the book about extreme family size and programs in st. louis where they have retired detectives trying to
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find kin's, not as mothers and mothers in answer to my second cousins and a great aunts and call up and say, would you be interested in giving unknown to your relative. and 70 percent of the time with that program they're able to find permanent homes for the and people compared to 40% under just regular procedures. so there are ways to reduce the stream of kids in foster care. there are ways to prevent them even entering the first place but providing them with the services that their families need command if we can reduce the stream of kids in foster care, then we will reduce the stream of kids and tar on the shelters because 40 percent of the kids to graduate out of foster care without a place to go in a policy within the first four years of their time as adults. >> there is just one last -- there is a big public-private collaboration on the narrative in this country that we have to work are not. that is, this idea that it is still okay to buy and sell kids
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for the purposes of sex. if we could just get half as brave and bold about making it a taboo to drive across a bridge or tunnel and come into the city and buy a kit for night, if it could be half as successful making that taboo as we have making smoking we would really change people's perceptions on what is appropriate in terms of intimacy. there are kids in this city and in every major city in the united states are being bought and sold to yes, on the internet, but also by corner pins and gangs and cartels to make a lot of money of the backs of these kids. you know, we have a long way to go in this country about talking openly about that and acknowledgement and people continue to be exploited. some boys in this country continue think it's okay to go into the city for a night and get a hooker. a lot of times that paragraph is to be almost his family could not or would not to care for. that is true in and the city as well. >> what is your program specifically do to help kids --
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kids are victims of the sex trade? >> so, the question is what does covenant house to for kids who are victims of the sex trade. there is both what we do individually with him people and then the public policy question that we are working to tackle. first the latter, we work with other ngo leaders across the country, either as participants in or leading state based coalitions, improving legislation that protect survivors of trafficking or the champions, the anti trafficking work that is going on at the federal and state level. so in alaska last year the fbi gave covenant house its community partner reward for the work that we're doing to identify victims of sex trafficking and to work on the prosecution of those a traffic kids. in pennsylvania several weeks covenant house in philadelphia lead a coalition that successfully championed new safe harbor legislation that helps
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victims of sex trafficking. and that would be true throughout the united states and, of course, and latin america where covenant house works and mexico, it bottle, guatemala and in honduras we work directly. including broken up -- coprosecutor cartels were trafficking kids as essex, seven, eight, nine, ten years old and are programs. the work that we do to help victims recover depends on where that victim is in terms of their exploitation and suffering, but it almost always involves psychiatric counseling, helping and people begin to deal with rape and exploitation and then help them build up plan for that is not very different than the work that we were doing, you know, 30 years ago. because of trafficking now, but it's been going on for a long time. it's a beginning on sold in this country for a long time command we have been working for a long time helping kids move from exploitation to help end opporunity. >> another thing we have been
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advocating is for the police forces to be better educated as to when somebody is actually a victim of trafficking and when someone is there on their own volition. so if they determine that someone has been under age or coerced and trafficking, we are urging that police agencies will learn what that looks like and get those kids and services. >> yes, sir. >> is reunification ever go? >> the question is, is reunification ever go. every opportunity that exists for safer unification and is in a kids' interest, it gets explored, right. we want wherever possible young people to have a family. is there family safe and can be reconnected with, we want to be a part of helping that to happen. just as in the case for younger children, the public child welfare system, i have to tell you that the vast majority of young people are coming into covenant house, not just here in new york city, across the united states, do not have families are
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interested in or can be safely reconnected to them, but that is not true for every in person, and wherever possible we work hard to try or to build family going for it, to help that young person find a group of folks who are going to love them. we talk a lot about, you know, the first shop, which i brought the first apartment. we talk about the fact that, you know, kids need to finish their education. the one thing that the in person needs more than anything else is an adult you unconditionally loves them and commits to them and won't let go of them. it's what made a difference in my life, and the thing that i think you will see that made a difference in these kids' lives is people stepped up to be that person. the cut in borland's. as teen often says, it is often not the executive director or the, you know, president or the director of a charity but the janitor or the cut with a mentor who comes into the shelter here just decides to my not letting go of this gate and then going to help them get across that bridge.
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>> to more questions and then we're going to conclude, if there are any more. yes. [inaudible question] >> hi. [inaudible question] my question, i heard about other ways that adults can help, but are there different avenues that you can help, the home was used in the for example, i went to an academy in the york. there are other high schools that have mentoring programs or, perhaps twilight volunteer programs or maybe they will have them working with the youth, but are there different avenues that can be opened up so that you can work with the homeless? >> i know that for the holidays we often have young people, and for parties. we could have then to cookie decorating your pumpkin carving, things that people in the shelters have never had, and at first it appears very childish, but they have not had this
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experience is that levitt. i used to get out to the shelter and a people's else, something that simple that active caring that made them feel valued and made them realize that people outside of the shelter system care for them. i don't know about being a full-time volunteer. there are a summons on that. >> i think in many houses there are a summons with respect to when the in person can come into the shelter and help our kids, but there are cool things going on across the country it colleges and high schools and across the united states in the last several weeks. yet people have been sleeping out to raise awareness about the crisis of youth homelessness. as friends and family to help raise money to support, not just covenant house, but other charities that are working with homeless and people. there are also young people from colleges and universities going in organizing clothing rooms. there are couple of ways to go clothing room. you can throw all the clothes and a pilot's ago pick something more you can recognize that this is sacred moment to get tickets to a special and you can organize a like a boutique and you can make it feel like a
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really special opportunity, even though this in person has not another thing to wear and this is a sad moment for them, people come in, including a team that is doing this tonight and encourage, are planning ways to make that experience of going into a clothing room in buying -- in finding a pair of jeans or a teacher or call for the winter and turn that into something really special. and yet people do that. often high-school students will come in and clean clothes and hang the clothes. there are so many ways. covenant house will touch 56,000 homeless and people this year in six countries. there will be tonight 2000 your people sleeping under covenant house risk, and we are part of a much bigger movement across the of homeless shelters for kids where they are trying to give love for the world. there is room for all of us to get involved. last question. >> how can we get involved as adults, not just being kids. year in new york city, how can
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we help you? >> the question is, and i promise you i did not plant this question, but thank you for asking this question. how can you help us. first to let me say as i try to say earlier, there are fabulous nonprofits in new york city doing great work with homeless young people. at covenant house, 41st and tenth and then a program for homeless teen moms. tonight, 350, people will be sleeping in our roof. we have, indeed, hundreds of volunteers are going to help us and we have here tonight my friend ashley in the back of the room waiting to you all. is everybody see ashley? okay. okay. now, that was planted. and if anyone is interested in finding a more about covenant house and volunteering, it could be in big and small ways, as there will be happy to provide you with more information. think about this. all right. i mean, there is an opportunity here for all of us to do something, and maybe it's not in sight covenant house, but i hope
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for many of you will be. maybe you'll find a way your neighbor or community to reach out to that kid or something seems not quite right. reach out to that young person. it could make a huge difference in their lives. i am confident, and they're is a huge, huge role for the government to play here. also a huge role for us to play here, and i'm confident that if we all together get in this in a robust wait and in ways that were being talked about, you know, this book which is about six extraordinary people who held six extraordinary kids across the bridge can get exponentially replicated. anything and last? >> i would welcome anyone in to participate in that work. we need tutors. job trainers, people to help with resonates. we need people just to do small things and big things as well. i hope you read chapter number eight, which is all about what you can do to help after you have read the stories. join in the movement. >> thank you all so much.
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[applause] >> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here on line. type the author or book title in the search bar on the upper left side of the page and click search. you can also share anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and selecting the format. book tv streams live on line for 48 hours every weekend with top non-fiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> and now from book tv recent visit to providence for ryland also to author and pulitzer prize-winning journalist about his book. >> the prince of provinces the story of the longest serving mayor and ryland history and one of the most colorful layers you
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will find anywhere in that country. part huey long and part tony soprano. a city of was rated one of america's most livable. he also presided over a breathtaking array of corruption over three different decades that ultimately landed him in several prisons -- federal prison. very colorful character. i call him america's longest running a lounge act because he would be squired about this city in his chauffeur driven limousine with a big jackbooted police officer by his side. he would have a cup of hot and one hand and a cigarette in the other. you know, the keys to the city. he was really coming to me, when i set out to write a book about him really to be the embodiment of american politics, good and . and he reflected province which
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has one of america's oldest cities, to me, really embodies the american political story. he grew up in a privileged background for an italian-american. he grew up in the silver lake neighborhood of providence, italian enclave. he went to moses brown, kind of a lofty school. he became a lawyer, a prosecutor , prosecuting mobsters. a republican in a democratic irish city and then he ran for mayor in the 1970's, 1974. and he basically upset the province democratic machine. he became this italian-american republican mayor in the 70's, and he attracted the attention of the white house at the time. gerald ford was president. and he was very taken with him and saw him as a way to kind of an body with the republicans are trying to capture, you know, a vote that usually when
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democratic. he had a featured role speaking at the 1976 republican national convention. he was a guy that was seen as going places. very glib and particulate. he was a champion of cities and urban renewal. and some people audaciously even said he could be a potential vice presidential candidate or at least get to the u.s. senate where he could have a very long and successful career. but then some problems and sued. he -- of course, gerald ford lost the election. and he went on to become mayor and get ensnared in some corruption. there was a massive investigation in the early 1980's. the ad characters like buckles and blackjack and bellows stealing manhole covers, stealing asphalt, cutting all kinds of crooked deals selling city trucks to private donors, and that sort of thing. and there was massive corruption and several people in the
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administration went to prison. they never got the body because his top aide never rented them out, went to prison instead himself. but buddy was caught up in a personal peril dispute. he went to -- through a nasty divorce. he basically suspected this businessman who had been a friend of his was sleeping with his wife and invited the man to his house on powers street one night, and with his city police bodyguard, held the men prisoner for several hours, tortured him with a list cigarette, try to hit him with a fireplace log, through an ashtray at him at one point and ultimately was charged with assault in that episode, and that forced his resignation in 1984. that seemed like that was the end of a once promising political career, but it was only the first act. he spent the next six years on talk radio is. a very popular talk-show host. in 1990 he ran for mayor again with the slogan, he never stopped caring.
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you know, the "wall street journal" called his political comeback the envy of richard nixon, and in 1990 he was elected in a 3-way race by about a few hundred votes, and he came back, and this was the 90's when providence was undergoing this remarkable renaissance. rivers were being moved. concrete that smother them was being ripped. as you see now, the water fire display of the rivers and the beauty of the architecture. but he was a champion of that. as providence became my city, he became a hot mayor and things are going very well for him. but then just as he was celebrating becoming the longest serving mayor in providence history, the corruption rear its head again and the fbi found this local businessman who agreed to go undercover into city hall. he wore a wire, and a hidden camera in the handle of his briefcase, and he taped various aides to body, including his top aide, taking bribes and city hall for city contracts and other favors.
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this became known as the federal fbi case called operation plunder dome. it was led by an fbi agent named dennis aitken who was originally from mississippi. he led this investigation and ultimately resulted in buddies conviction. after an epic 2-month trial and a city where people said you will never get people to convict buddy cianci, a city where he went to prison with 67 percent of the voters still thinking he had done a good job in the value is guilty. and when he was sentenced by the judge, the judge talked about how he was really two people, dr. jekyll and mr. hyde. and buddy, in his own way, said, well, you know, privately to a friend later, how come i didn't get to f paychecks. well, convicted of racketeering conspiracy, being kind of in knowing about it but not actually being physically involved in the underlying acts. and buddy kind of friend it as what did i do?
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was convicted of being the mayor some of the jurors a spoke to felt otherwise, that he was a guy who knew how to keep himself insulated, kind of like a mob boss that he had once prosecuted, ironically. anti was able to stay out of the direct line, but he knew everything was going on. the kind of guy one juror told me, who know how many rolls of toilet paper there were in city all. later he said that was part of this method is or that he kind of conveyed that fear in people that he knew everything, but he really didn't. so that was his defense, but ultimately it did not play well with the jury, did not play out on appeal, and he went to prison relinquished his famous to pay, what he called his bets coral. he did his time. he came out and he went on talk radio expects -- talk-radio. he went from being a political
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figure to being that uncle you have around on holidays. most of the people in providence who live to when the data presented now live here when he went to prison which says something about the remarkable transformation of the city. a lot more latino voters, young voters demonstrative population, and the city has really changed. his succession, the mayor that followed him was the first openly gay mayor of a large american city, david selene, who is now in congress. the mayor who followed him is in office now, the city's first hispanic mayor. reflecting that population. buddy, i compare him to a huey long in the sense that he -- they were both of you know, incredibly charismatic figures. they were both politicians who were beloved in spite of their flaws commencement of the corruption that went on in their administration who had a real
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populist evangelical fervor about them that spoke to the ability to be successful on a larger stage. huey long was seen as an eventual presidential candidates , but as audacious as it seems, being such a small city, he was seen as somebody that could be a national figure -- figure in washington. one of the pivotal moments of his career in the 1970's, he was in his first term as mayor, u.s.s. he had opened up and ryeland committee thought about whether he should run and not come and he wound up ultimately being outmaneuvered by john chafee who went on to a legendary senate career. a lot of people feel that was a real turning point is if he got not a province then he would have gotten out of the place that breeds corruption and ultimately drag to down. not takes uses stability, and got to washington where you can be a showman on the national stage. remember, he spoke at the republican national convention in 1976 and again in 1980.
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he actually went out. it was funny, will for the 1980 election he went out and met with ronald reagan. he pitched themselves as the potential running mate for reagan. and while he was out there he went to palm springs and visited gerald ford who had been good friends with them when he was president. and he was there, he also got invited to have dinner at frank sinatra soused. and it so having dinner at frank sinatra's, and if he tells the story, he sees a picture of the patriarch of the party on the wall -- on the wall behind the bar and says no, you're from providence. how is raymond doing. there was that bizarre crosscurrent of his life and the people he would encounter. buddy and i had an interesting relationship, as i wrote this book because the one thing about buddy, two things a really mattered in our power and control and, of course, money. he did not have the control over
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this book, and he did not get the money and he could not control his legacy, and he did not like the negative things that i found about him, but i tried to be fair and because there are two sides of the coin, and that is a mix is so compelling. the body always wanted to write his own book, and he later did a few years ago called politics and boston. and i always -- you know, used to kid me, i'm going to write my own memoirs command and not going to talk to you about my inside stories. you know, how are you going to -- our memory called me into his office a month before you went to prison. he had been convicted and was awaiting sentencing. his final days in office, a summer afternoon, quite. as we sit in his office, he starts to a, you know, say, hey, hot body repair contract with random nice and we write a book together. how did you in the media six-figure advance. how much the getting to mecca said, well, not getting that much, but enough to make a fair. it's really about more than money to me. but doing -- you know, telling a
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good story. elected me and said, why isn't it just about money? how can you sell yourself so cheap? and at that point a thunderstorm started this sort of play out over city hall and those allowed crash of thunder. he said, you know, writing this book without me and my in such stores as kind of like the thunder without the lightning. this book might think, says the american politics is a blood sport. very entertaining. buddy cianci added saying. when he was first elected mayor he was the republican candidate. he was championed by kind of the upper crust liberals said that lived up on the east side of providence on university, and they were the elites, the people that did not need things from city hall, not looking for patronage contracts. there were looking for good government. to me now, but he had a cynical saying even though it was their champion when he first was elected. good government will only give you good government. when you come down from college
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hill and across the providence river, you know, you have to cut deals and have to do things like that to get things done. he came in as mayor the first time. remember, he was a republican a city that had not like the republicans as the great depression. he was the first time in american mayor in the city that had been ruled by aristarchus for decades. and he had a city council that was committed to his destruction , just like the republican congress was committed to barack obama downfall and his first term. and he had to work with those guys. he did work with them comanche also machiavellian maneuvers that he had, he outlasted them and he outmaneuvered them. there was this -- they refused to confirm any of his appointments, and then there was the famous massacre, they called it, or the city council had a meeting in it did not have a quorum because there were three members to have been arrested or indicted or convicted of various crimes such as insurance fraud

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Book TV
CSPAN January 6, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

Cory Booker, Tina Kelley & Kevin Ryan Education. (2012) 'Almost Home Helping Kids Move From Homelessness to Hope.'

TOPIC FREQUENCY Providence 8, Newark 4, Fbi 3, New York City 3, Homelessness 3, New York 3, Washington 3, Ashley 2, Gerald Ford 2, Tyler Perry 2, Sandy 2, Manhattan 2, New Orleans 2, City 2, Detroit 2, Cianci 1, Frank Sinatra 1, Dennis Aitken 1, Levitt 1, Ronald Reagan 1
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